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What Not to do When Considering Filing for Bankruptcy

If you have overwhelming debts and are experiencing constant harassment from bill collectors, it is understandable that you would want to seek relief in filing for bankruptcy. Before entering this process, however, it is critical to ask yourself if you are actually ready to file for bankruptcy or if it might be a better idea to wait. Either way, what you choose to do next will have a significant impact on your financial future. The following outlines some of the critical things that you should never do when contemplating filing for bankruptcy.

Rushing Into Bankruptcy

While the bankruptcy process is capable of wiping out your debts, it is important to remember that you are limited in how often you are able to utilize this process. You can file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy once every eight years or for Chapter 13 bankruptcy every six years. If you rush into filing now, there is a risk that you could end up facing even more dire financial troubles down the road. It is important to make sure that now is absolutely the right time to file before doing so. An experienced bankruptcy attorney can help you figure out when the time is right for you.

Waiting too Long to File for Bankruptcy

Sometimes the best time to file for bankruptcy is as soon as possible. Perhaps your wages are being garnished or legal actions have been initiated against you by creditors. If a creditor is able to win a lawsuit against you, it is possible that you could also find liens attached to your bank accounts or even have your car repossessed or home foreclosed upon. It is important to understand, however, that bankruptcy will provide only a small amount of protection against liens, which is why it is almost always a good idea to file for bankruptcy before your situation reaches this point. No matter the exact threat that you are facing, an experienced bankruptcy attorney will be able to explain the ways in which filing for bankruptcy might be able to help you.

Emptying Retirement Accounts

Fortunately, it is possible to protect much of your retirement funds from bankruptcy. Despite this, each year many people withdraw assets from their retirement accounts that could much more easily be wiped out through bankruptcy. Instead of burning through the assets that can help you when you are older, it is almost always a better idea to leave this amount untouched and to pursue bankruptcy.

Creating New Debt or Moving Existing Debt

In situations in which you accrue unnecessary debt immediately before bankruptcy, it is common to end up being unable to discharge these debts through the bankruptcy process. This is because creditors will argue that you never intended to pay back the amount. It is also critical to not sell, transfer, or hide any assets that you own before filing for bankruptcy. If you decide to this, it is possible that you will be unable to file for bankruptcy and can even end up subject to fines and imprisonment. The only exception to this type of behavior is if you sold property shortly before filing for bankruptcy to pay for necessary expenses.

Not Filing Income Tax Returns

There are some individuals who are not required to file tax returns. Many individuals who file for bankruptcy, however, are supposed to file taxes, which can create difficulties. Tax returns are important for determining your current past earnings in addition to resolving any priority tax claim issues. Without tax returns, it is impossible to satisfactorily complete some bankruptcy plans. Before filing bankruptcy, you should make sure that your tax returns were filed if you were supposed to do so.

Providing False or Misleading Information

On the paperwork that you complete to initiate the bankruptcy process, it is critical to provide accurate and complete details about your assets, debts, and other aspects of your finances. If you purposefully misrepresent any of this information, there is a risk that you could end up facing a large fine, imprisonment, or be barred from ever filing for bankruptcy again.  It is just as important to make sure that you complete all of the necessary paperwork or your case might end up dismissed.

Speak with an Experienced Bankruptcy Lawyer

If you or a loved one is debating filing for bankruptcy or has questions or concerns about the process, one of the best actions that you can take is to speak with an experienced bankruptcy lawyer. Contact attorney Melanie Tavare today to schedule a free initial consultation.


"Melanie is the best she very responsive and helpful throughout the process everything was taken care of smoothly. If you are thinking of going through bankruptcy she is the best attorney for you. I will forever be grateful having the chance to work with her. She is very honest too."


"I can't thank Melanie enough for helping me through a challenging process and doing so with incredible knowledge, professionalism and tenacity! She went to great lengths to keep me informed, she responded quickly to my questions, and communicated in terms that I could understand. I highly recommend getting in touch with Melanie should you have the need."


"Choosing to work with Atty. Melanie has been one of the best decisions I've ever made. She was a very patient professional to work with and attentive while providing valuable solutions to all of my concerns. If you are searching for of an Attorney who is knowledgeable, transparent, and diligent - well that's Atty. Melanie."


"What I liked about working with Melanie was how prompt and easy to work with she was. She made the process clear and understandable with as little stress as possible. I would work with her again and recommend her to others."